How do You Feel about Inclusive Language

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catholiclady

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One of my pet peeves is inclusive language in the liturgy - what are your toughts?
 
Not my cup of tea and my wife says she finds inclusive language to be insulting. She feels that she was always felt included in the Church.
 
It’s no big deal to me, it never changes the meaning of the text. It doesn’t hurt to add sister, where brother and sister is implied. But, if it isn’t added, it doesn’t bother me at all.

I tend to dislike the whole feminist demand for stuff like this though. I refuse to feel like a second class citizen because of the traditional wording of the scriptures. Hopefully this issue won’t lead to a barrage of insults on this thread, however…
 
I am opposed to inclusive language, not because I think women are second class because there are legitimate leadership roles for them in the church, but because it does change scripture. Maybe or maybe not the meaning, but we are presumming to change things which I don’t think we can rightly change. It cracks a door open that someone else may kick open.
 
Actually, intruding inclusive language often changes the meaning of texts.

In another thread I noted that many people want to change “men” (as in “Christ died for all men”) to “men and women.” The problem is that “men” means different things in the two examples. This is easy to see when you realize that if we say “Christ died for all men and women” we imply that he did not die for children.

At times inclusive language gives a false impression of Scripture. You may have noticed that nowadays the readings from the Pauline epistles almost always begin with “brothers and sisters.” A listener might get the impression that Paul used that phrase every few paragraphs in his writings. In fact, he didn’t.

It isn’t just that the phrase is the inclusive language subsitute for “brothers,” a word that Paul used but not remotely as often as our current lectionary might lead one to think. The problem is not just that inclusive language has replaced the original language. What is worse is that the phrase “brothers and sisters” has been intruded into the sacred text where it is not a replacement for anything. (Intruding “brothers” would have been misleading also.)

In some places Paul and other sacred writers were writing to groups that included men and women, but in many cases their works were addressed to an audience that would have been exclusively male. This is something that drops out of the picture when inclusive language is used.

In many traditional cultures, men and women worshiped separately. (Even today the most conservative Jews do not seat men and women together in the synagogue. Things would have been stricter in the first century.) It is probable that the writers of certain books of the Bible expected their words to be read aloud in front of exclusively male congregations or small groups, in which case “brothers” really meant “brothers” and not “brothers and sisters.”
 
Karl Keating:
It isn’t just that the phrase is the inclusive language subsitute for “brothers,” a word that Paul used but not remotely as often as our current lectionary might lead one to think. The problem is not just that inclusive language has replaced the original language. What is worse is that the phrase “brothers and sisters” has been intruded into the sacred text where it is not a replacement for anything. (Intruding “brothers” would have been misleading also.)
Take a look at your traditional Missal and you will see that virtually all – if not all – of the readings from the Pauline Epistles begin with the word “Fratres,” usually translated (then) as “Brethren.” This is not a feature of the current lectionary, it’s been done for a long time.
 
It makes my teeth sit on edge.

I think it is distracting and in the end divisive. As though those who feel the need to push a female pronoun into every possible don’t trust that women are quite capable of being part of something without being specifically singled out. I end up with the feeling that someone is saying “…oh and women too.” every few moments.

-D
 
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dcs:
Take a look at your traditional Missal and you will see that virtually all – if not all – of the readings from the Pauline Epistles begin with the word “Fratres,” usually translated (then) as “Brethren.” This is not a feature of the current lectionary, it’s been done for a long time.
You won’t find those “brethrens” in the epistles themselves.
 
During the Profession of Faith, some of us, including one of the priests, say “For us men and for our salvation” while some, including another priest, say “For us and for our salvation”. The result?: “For us mumble-mumble and for our salvation”. After all, those who still say “men” don’t want to appear as unenlightened chauvenistic fools, so we don’t want to say it too loud or we might cause a scene.

OK, fine. Some people don’t understand that “men” includes males and females. But can’t we all say it the same way? I guess what bothers me most about it is that it lacks humility. To change the wording says, “When will the Church catch up with my superior way of praying?”.
 
Inclusive language drives me up a wall! Milimac, for the reason you stated….in the profession it becomes a mumble mumble situation, when we should never feel awkward about expressing our beliefs, especially during MASS! I attended a church while out of town once where both the profession and the “Glory to God” were changed to not say “Him/He” anywhere, but only refer to God/Jesus as to not upset those who might be of the mind that God is not gender specific. Like MothersBoy said, “It cracks a door open that someone else may kick open”
 
Karl Keating:
You won’t find those “brethrens” in the epistles themselves.
No, of course not. I was simply pointing out that this particular problem is not limited to the current lectionary. It’s been going on for a long time, probably 1000 years or more.
 
I use inclusive language when ever possible. However the Liturgy and other prescribed texts must be read as printed in the official and approved versions.
 
Br. Rich SFO:
I use inclusive language when ever possible. However the Liturgy and other prescribed texts must be read as printed.
Yes, they must be read as printed, and the priest should say “All honor and glory is yours, Almighty Father,” even though that isn’t English. (Hint: Plural subjects take plural verbs.)

But otherwise I try never to use feminist language, that being the proper term, since standard English already is inclusive when it uses “he” or “man” in the generic sense.

Why should I use what commonly is termed inclusive language? To please those to whom such usage is important? I don’t see how pandering to them and, thus, confirming them in a grammatical error is doing them any favor.

Granted, when I use proper English, someone may notice and “take offense.” I don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings, but I am even more solicitous of other folks’ minds. Maybe, when I speak English As She Is Writ, a listener will start to think, “Uh, like, could my diction be wrong?”
 
I do NOT like inclusive language. It ignores the truth only to accomodate a “political correctness” which is UNTRUE and unrealistic. Our Lord Jesus did not teach us to pray “Our Creator which art in heaven” but “Our Father” (Abba) which infers a filial relationship with our God.
 
I loathe “inclusive” language. Why should we include temporary fads when praising our eternal God?
 
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catholiclady:
One of my pet peeves is inclusive language in the liturgy - what are your toughts?
If it is a misquotation or a mistranslation, it should be avoided. Really, recasting “for us men and for our salvation” to " for us, men and women, and children, and–oh, those in a persistent vegetative state–and for any other group that feels it has been left out, and for our salvation," is too ridiculous.
 
It is interesting that the majority of forum members seem to be in agreement on most matters but I can’t help but question how this and other subjects would be answered if we asked the man in the pew.

Most folks, I think, who participate in this and other Catholic forums are interested in finding the truth in what Mother Church teaches and are fed up with some of the erroneous teachings and liturgical abuses and poor catachesis in their own parishes and participate in forums to both find the truth and to interact with like thinkers.
 
When dealing with Biblical text, one should not arbitrarily change the literal translation to make it inclusive. Such a person ceases to be a translator and becomes a paraphraser and may introduce any error or bias. However, apart from Scripture and required liturgical texts, why not make a concerted effort to be inclusive (e.g. during the homily).
 
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pnewton:
However, apart from Scripture and required liturgical texts, why not make a concerted effort to be inclusive (e.g. during the homily).
My point was that standard English already is inclusive. The problem isn’t with those who use the generic “he” or “man.” The problem is with those who, because of their ignorance of their own language, take offense where not only is no offense intended but where no offense is present.

Should we modify our language to mollify such people? I don’t think so, since there always will be people who can’t comprehend elements of their native tongue. The answer isn’t to dumb down the language but to “smart up” the people. And, if for some reason that can’t be done, the best thing is benign neglect.
 
Glad to see that you all are on one accord regarding this issue. As an English major, I am well aware that words do not exist in a vacuum…So the push for inclusive language in is essence the push to change thinking…change the word, change the connotation, change the connotation, change the action, change the action, change the habit, change the habit, change the world view. Inclusive language is purportedly done for inclusion but it’s real motivation is to reduce us all to the same bland sameness, to erase distinctions and to recreate us according to some fluid, changing vision of gender.
I do not like inclusive language and during the Creed for example, I say loud and proud “for us men and for our salvation…”
The move to inclusion leads to the feminization of the Church, which is not a good thing because doing so upsets the hierarchical nature of the Church…but that’s another issue…
…Anyway all that to say, that inclusive language guts the Church of its masculinity and morphs it into something unrecognizable, and hence malleable…
 
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